In today’s society, globalization has dominated the world we live in. It has been the basis of modern business, and affects our everyday lives whether we realize it, or not. Globalization can be described as an interconnectedness of the world, where communication, ideas, products, and cultures are shared across borders. Although there are many positive aspects of globalization, there are also many issues that are linked with globalization. A prominent issue within globalization that affects the world and businesses today is gender inequality, and especially the gender wage gap.
The gender wage gap has been an important issue in history, especially since the 1960s. The 1970s brought rapid growth towards equal pay, especially due to women continuing higher education. However, as of 2015, the gender wage gap was still approximately 20%, meaning that women were paid only 80% of what men were paid. Additionally, due to the slow progress of the gender wage gap, it is projected that women will not reach equal pay with men until 2152, if the growth rate continues at what it has been over the past few years (Miller).
One of the main arguments of the gender pay gap is that when women have lower earnings, it is much more difficult for them to raise families. A recent study from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research shows that if women were paid equally to men, single mothers’ household income could rise approximately 17% (“Six Reasons”).
In addition to unequal wages, gender inequality also exists in the form of unequal benefits and compensation. Women have significantly lower compensation, especially in the form of social security benefits, health care, bonuses, disability insurance, and pensions. According to the Center for American Progress, a recent study has shown that there is an approximate $8,000 gap between retirement income for men and women who have completed the same work (“Six Reasons”).
On the other hand, many will argue the gender pay gap controversy and say that the gender inequality regarding wages is nonexistent. One of the main arguments against the gender pay gap is that women are more likely to take time off to take care of their families, and that naturally alters how much women get paid compared to men (Cochran). In addition, many say that the pay gap can be translated in the form of paid maternity leave. If women are granted paid maternity leave by their company, people will argue that technically the paid leave could equal the 20% gap that separates men and women’s wages, therefore, eliminating the gender pay gap, and making it nonexistent.
Although there are two sides to the gender wage gap argument, it is evident that gender inequality affects the workplace and businesses across the globe. One of the first ways that the workplace can be affected is through lack of productivity and motivation. If a woman is getting paid less than a man is for the same exact job, it can create depression and lack of motivation. If a woman is getting no incentive to do better at work, she will not be as productive as she could be if she had equal pay. If there is a lack of productivity, it leads to potential losses for the business.
Not only does gender inequality affect individual businesses, but it affects the global economy, as well. The IMF estimated that approximately 853 million women around the world have the potential to contribute to the global economy that are currently unable to. Additionally, closing the gender pay gap would raise the economies of multiple countries worldwide. For example, it is estimated that equal wages will increase U.S. GDP by 5%, Japan by 9%, the United Arab Emirates by 12%, and Egypt by 34% (McBain).
In addition to helping the overall economy of the world, gender equality can help a woman’s overall well-being, which in turn can positively affect everyone and everything around them. Poverty is a major consequence of wage inequality, and single mothers are among some of the poorest demographics in society (McBain). If a single mother now has equal pay and gender equality, it can increase her overall outlook on life, her family’s quality of living, and even her health. If a woman can sustainably provide more for her family and for herself, then she is contributing more to society financially than she previously was, therefore, increasing the economy, as well.
Globalization has been a blessing to society, and a curse at the same time. It has fostered many new and innovative ideas, increased the flow of goods and services through free trading, and enhanced communication across the globe. However, great ideas and concepts come with great issues, as well. There will always be issues associated with globalization, and no one can eliminate all the issues completely. The only thing we can do is realize the issues at hand, understand them, and take the proper and necessary actions to better the side-effects globalization has caused.
Cochran, Matthew. “There Is No Wage Gap: Feminists Want Equal Pay for Unequal Work.” The Federalist, FDRLST Media, 6 May 2015, Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.
McBain, Sophie. “Gender Inequality Is Costing the Global Economy Trillions of Dollars a Year.” New Statesman, 12 Feb. 2014, Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.
Miller, Kevin. “The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap (Spring 2017).” AAUW, Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.
“Six Reasons Why Equal Pay Is Still Important.” Center for American Progress, 15 Jan. 2009, Accessed 23 Mar. 2017.